New Bill Funds PPP, Again
Once again the House and Senate passed a COVID-19 economic relief package and the one and a half page Resolution replenishes the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (EIDL). The total package of $484 billion brings the total of all four packages to S2.7 trillion. Yesterday’s package, called the “Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act” designates $310 billion to the PPP and $50 billion for the EIDL. The President has signaled his support and his signature is expected shortly, maybe even today. If an ARA member has not yet been able to receive a loan, reach out today to your lender. The Resolution itself as well as the SBA list of participating lenders and the Treasury Department’s updated (as of today) list of frequently asked questions can be at the following links: 116th Congress/House Bill, SBA, PPP.
Non-Essential Business Back in Business
States are starting to outline plans to relax work restrictions for non-essential businesses. Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Montana, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Tennessee were among the states that are beginning to address varying degrees of reopening plans. At the same time, Illinois, New Mexico and North Carolina extended their stay in place orders. Since it is a decision that a state, and sometimes a locality, has the jurisdiction to mandate, the country has become a patchwork of orders. ARA will try to add the reopening plans to its list of stay at home orders which can be found at a-r-a.org.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released guidance to its Area Offices on how to address “…handling COVID-19-related complaints, referrals, and severe illness reports.” OSHA instructs the field personnel to “…allow flexibility and discretion…to maximize OSHA’s impact in securing safe workplaces for workers in this evolving environment.” However, this by no means mitigates their responsibility to identify, investigate and report on potentially hazardous occupational exposures.
Specifically, OSHA prepared their Area Offices with “good faith” guidances for workplace protective measures and told agents to evaluate:
1) Workplace risk levels;
2) Complaints; and
3) Inspection planning roles.
Enforcement and “Appropriate action to take [will be] based on the employer’s response” to complaints.